Um, General Chinese Motors?

GM’s huge post-bailout investments in China bear fruit.
China is still rocking, GM announced today, unlike the US where GM’s vehicles sales fell 1.3% in 2016, with cars down 4.3% and trucks, including SUVs, flat. It joined Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, Toyota, BMW, and other automakers in the US that had booked their first annual vehicle sales declines since 2009.
But that’s not what is happening in China. China became the largest new vehicle market in the world for the first time in 2009 with growth rates that made global automakers and their financiers salivate. But these phenomenal growth rates ran aground in early and mid-2015, and sales began to fall on a year-over-year basis. The government ignored the debacle for a while, then stepped in with incentives, and the race began anew.
So today GM announced that its deliveries of new passenger vehicles – cars, light trucks, SUVs, and MPVs (multi-purpose vehicle) – in China grew 7.1% in 2016 to 3.87 million vehicles.
This compares to its US sales, which fell 1.3% to 3.04 million vehicles. So GM sold 27% more vehicles in China than in the US. The gap is likely to grow further.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Jan 5, 2017.

Did Snapchat Fake Growth Numbers To Boost Its IPO Value? This Ex-Employee Seems To Think So

According to a lawsuit filed in L. A. Superior Court by former employee Anthony Pompliano, Snapchat has been faking its growth numbers in order to boost its value in an upcoming IPO. Pompliano, Snapchat’s “growth lead”, says he was hired away from his position at Facebook to provide confidential and proprietary information about Facebook’s systems and was subsequently fired, after only three weeks on the job, for blowing the whistle on the company’s growth misrepresentations with several higher-ups. Per Variety:
‘Snapchat’s leadership saw Mr. Pompliano as an impediment to their planned IPO because he refused to turn a blind eye to Snapchat’s misrepresentations,’ the lawsuit alleges. Pompliano also alleges that after he was fired, Snapchat set about smearing his reputation.
‘His opportunities have been compromised significantly,’ said Pompliano’s attorney, David Michaels. ‘He’s had difficulty securing employment. It would be a red flag to an employer that you were there for three weeks and were terminated. We believe when they make the inquiry to Snapchat, they hear a bunch of lies.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.

Layoffs, Store Closures, Recovering Economy? No, Collapsing Economy – Episode 1170a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jan 5, 2017
Credit card debt is rising in the UK, more families are borrowing at a faster rate. Initial jobless claims hit a 43 year low. ADP reported that only 153k jobs were added. The corporate media is a making a big deal about auto sales being the best ever, a closer look at the numbers and it shows sales have declined. US services economy is losing momentum. More stores are closing in 2017 because of the horrible holiday season, people are not spending. The world debt hit 325% Of World GDP. The central bankers are watching how people reacted in India, people really did complain and taxes increased, prepare for a cash ban here in the US


Gold at (1:30 am est) $1179.70 UP $15.90
silver at $16.58: UP 8 cents
Access market prices:
Gold: $1180.40
Silver: $16.58
The Shanghai fix is at 10:15 pm est last night and 2:15 am est early this morning
The fix for London is at 5:30 am est (first fix) and 10 am est (second fix)
Thus Shanghai’s second fix corresponds to 195 minutes before London’s first fix.
And now the fix recordings:
THURSDAY gold fix Shanghai
Shanghai morning fix Jan 5/17 (10:15 pm est last night): $ 1188.91
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1740.25 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME)/premium $14.66
Shanghai afternoon fix: 2: 15 am est (second fix/early morning):$ 1195.33
China rejects NY pricing of gold as a fraud/arbitrage will now commence fully
London Fix: Jan 5/2017: 5:30 am est: $.1173.05 (NY: same time: $1173.35 5:30AM)
London Second fix Jan 5.2017: 10 am est: $1176.80 (NY same time: $1176.80 (10 AM)
It seems that Shanghai pricing is higher than the other two , (NY and London). The spread has been occurring on a regular basis and thus I expect to see arbitrage happening as investors buy the lower priced NY gold and sell to China at the higher price. This should drain the comex.
Also why would mining companies hand in their gold to the comex and receive constantly lower prices. They would be open to lawsuits if they knowingly continue to supply the comex despite the fact that they could be receiving higher prices in Shanghai.

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on January 5, 2017.

Jon Corzine Settles Over MF Global Collapse: Agrees To Lifetime Ban, $5 Million Fine

Three years ago, in February 2013, traders were outraged upon learning that the National Futures Association refused to ban former MF Global chief Jon Corzine from trading with other people’s money, rejecting a motion brought before that body’s board of directors to do so. The decision was a blow to a vocal group within the commodities trading world who – noting that Corzine has not been held accountable by the government for alleged crimes – wanted to see him publicly upbraided by his peers in the market.
All that changed today when Corzine agreed to pay a $5 million civil fine to settle a lawsuit by the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the 2011 collapse of the former New Jersey governor’s brokerage, MF Global Holdings. More importantly, under the settlement disclosed on Thursday, Corzine also agreed to be barred for life and never again work for a futures commission merchant, or register with the CFTC in any capacity.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.

Are the Aging Elite ‘Feasting On Young Blood’? Rockefeller Research Advanced Eternal Quest

Though it seems like science fiction, it is, in fact, based in reality.
Some of the wealthiest foundations on the planet have sponsored on-going research that dates back to the 1950s where-in scientists attempted to transfuse the vital, healthy blood of young individuals into older, and more fatigued recipients.
And apparently, it has demonstrated considerable positive effects – at least in lab studies with mice.
Nonetheless, the treatments are already taking place in selects labs in some of the most expensive area codes on the map, and where the elite seek methods and procedures for delaying death for as long as possible.
It’s creepy, but happening.
As Vox reports:
‘There are widespread rumors in Silicon Valley, where life-extension science is a popular obsession, that various wealthy individuals from the tech world have already begun practicing parabiosis, spending tens of thousands of dollars for the procedures and young-person-blood, and repeating the exercise several times a year,’ Bercovici reported.

This post was published at shtfplan on January 5th, 2017.

Former Fox News Anchor Greta Van Susteren Joins MNSBC

Just two days after Fox News icon Megyn Kelly announced she was leaving to host a daytime and Sunday newsmagazine show on NBC, turning down a $100 million, 4 year contract, moments ago Politico reported that another former Fox News anchor, Greta Van Sustern, is joining the NBC family and will take over the 6pm slot on MSNBC with a new show called “For the Record,” the network announced Thursday.
Van Susteren’s show will feature both news and analysis, working as a bridge from MSNBC’s dayside news shows into its more opinion and analysis-focused primetime. She starts on Jan. 9, and the show will be based out of Washington D. C.
Van Susteren abruptly left Fox News and her 7 p.m. show ‘On the Record” in September after 14 years with the network. Brit Hume briefly filled in until the election when Tucker Carlson was named host. On Thursday, Fox News announced Martha MacCallum was taking over the slot, as Carlson would take over the the 9p.m. slot vacated by Kelly.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.

Crude Jumps On Report Saudis Fully Implemented OPEC Output Cut

BREAKING: Saudi Arabia has cut oil output by at least 486,000 b/d 10.058 million b/d, fully implementing OPEC cut pledge: Source @WSJ
— Georgi Kantchev (@georgikantchev) January 5, 2017

Despite earlier comments that the Saudis did not appear to have implemented their output cut (as per OPEC agreement), WSJ reports that Saudi Arabia cut oil output – fully implementing OPEC cut pledge. Oil is bouncing on the news.
From this morning – no cut!:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.


It’s no secret that the precious metals market has been manipulated by a small conglomeration of shadow players for over a decade. In fact, just in the last few months Deutsche Bank, well known for their trading prowess, settled lawsuits amounting to over $100 million dollars after having scammed investors by rigging prices on so-called open exchanges for silver and gold.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JANUARY 5, 2017.

The Chinese Chart That Keeps The IMF Up At Night

As the IIF reported yesterday, in the first 9 months of 2016 global debt rose by $11 trillion, hitting an all time high of $217 trillion, ro 325% of world GDP. Of this increase, the IIF said that China accounted for the “lion’s share” and while China’s relentless debt-funded stimulus continues to be ignored by markets, one other organization that begins with I and ends with F has also noticed that China has a big problem.
As the IMF recently wrote in its IMFDirect blog, China urgently needs to tackle its corporate-debt problem before it
becomes a major drag on growth in the world’s No. 2 economy. Corporate
debt has reached very high levels and continues to grow.
The International Monetary Fund then lays out at the dimensions of the problem:
From 2009 to 2015, credit grew very rapidly by 20 percent on average per year, much more than growth in nominal gross domestic product. What’s more, the ratio of non-financial private credit to GDP rose from around 150 percent to more than 200 percent, or about 20-25 percentage points higher than the historical trend. Such a ‘credit gap’ is comparable to those in countries that experienced painful deleveraging, such as Spain, Thailand, and Japan.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.

Trump Threatens Toyota: “Build New Plant In The US Or Pay Big Border Tax”

Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U. S. NO WAY! Build plant in U. S. or pay big border tax.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017

Poor Mexico just can’t catch a break.
After its currency crashed to record lows this week after Ford cancelled plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico, prompting the central bank to intervene and sell $1 billion USD to stabilize the currency, moments ago Trump lobbed another shot at Mexico, this time threatening Toyota with paying a big border tax if it building its new pant in Baja instead of the US.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.

The Deception of So-Called ‘Health Petitioner’ Weissman

There’s been zero major media coverage of this, but it has shown up on the web:
Steven I. Weissman, sent President-elect Donald Trump a petition to end predatory pricing in the healthcare industry. The petition, signed by more than 104,000 Americans, was delivered Wednesday evening to Trump Tower in New York City. It is the first petition of its kind, and the first one the president-elect has received regarding healthcare.
Weissman became the president of a Miami hospital when a friend, who founded the hospital, passed away. During his tenure as president, Weissman was able to get an inside look at how healthcare operates in the U. S., and, in his own words, it was ‘sickening.’
‘The biggest problem in healthcare is that there is no pricing at all,’ Weissman tells The Daily Caller News Foundation. ‘It is not a coincidence that the only product or service permitted to be sold in the U. S. without legitimate pricing, is the one which has imposed tremendous financial hardship.’
All of this is already illegal.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-01-05.

Kyle Bass Has Found A “Breathtaking” Opportunity With The “Greatest Risk-Reward Profile Ever Encountered”

Last February, when Kyle Bass announced the upcoming launch of a dedicated fund to short the Yuan, as part of a bigger macro short unveiled in his report on ‘The $34 Trillion Experiment: China’s Banking System and the World’s Largest Macro Imbalance’, many were skeptical if not outright mocked the Hayman Capital founder.
One year later, it is those who invested alongside Bass that are laughing, because as Bass writes in his latest letter to investors, “I am pleased to share that the Hayman Capital Master Fund, LP’s estimated net performance for the calendar year of 2016 was 24.83%”, or double the S&P’s return including dividends. Putting this return in a longer context, those who have invested with Hayman since the fund’s inception in 2006, this represents an inception-to-date return of 436.75% and an annualized return of 16.70%.
Not bad.
So where is Bass now? As he unveiled in his letter, he is sticking with Asia, which he will cover with a brand new Asia-focused fund, his third, “designed to provide investors with nuanced access to perhaps one of the largest imbalances in financial markets history.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.

Productivity Growth Ahead

The past 8 years have witnessed one of the worst trends in labor productivity of the past century. Human productivity inexorably rises over time as we learn from our losses and invest with innovative management and capital investments to increase labor efficiency and profits. Productivity naturally falls as an economy moves towards contraction as sales fall faster than companies can reduce costs. Every recovery from an economic recession causes a positive spike in productivity as new operating skills and technology are applied before adding new employees. Businesses need to see profits return and backlogs build prior to taking the additional risk of paying higher wages and acquiring new workers.
The 5-year average labor productivity rate falling to less than 0.5% growth, during an ‘expansion’, brings the rise in labor output per hour back to the early 1980’s rate when Fed Chair Volker enacted inflation crushing interest rates of 20% to counter the decade-long repercussions of leaving the Gold standard. If the US Labor market today was as strong as White House portrays then we would have above trend wage inflation and sharply rising productivity as CEO’s allocate profits toward capital investments with new machines and capacity expansions.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/05/2017.

Why One Trader Believes The Dollar Rally Is Over

The dollar’s slump this morning may be the start of a much larger correction, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Cudmore.
It’s worth paying attention to the inability of both the dollar and U. S. yields to make the most of strong U. S. data this week.
And also to the strong euro-zone PMIs and higher-than- estimated inflation prints that have boosted the euro.
The main takeaway from the Fed minutes was that many of the policy makers’ forecasts for rate hikes are dependent on fiscal stimulus. That introduces some dovish-surprise risk.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 5, 2017.

Using the House to Pay for Grandma

I’ve always got the nagging feeling that I’m not saving enough for retirement. Maybe because I don’t even know how much constitutes ‘enough.’
I know most Americans are in the same boat, and – to top it off – Social Security is going broke. Since more than 30% of retirees count on Social Security for 90% or more of their monthly income, this is a huge problem.
But when it comes to financing retirement, at least we’re not Chinese.
In the U. S., Social Security will exhaust its surplus by 2037. At that point, the program will bring in enough funds to pay roughly 75% of the promised benefits, leaving an average annual deficit of around $200 billion. To fix this, we will have to raise taxes, cut benefits, or some combination of the two.
China’s pension scheme will be underfunded by $116 trillion dollars by 2050, and will steadily get worse. The government currently has no plans for how to fix their problem, but a wealthy real estate magnate does.
He is Meng Xiaosu, president of China’s largest state-owned property developer.
Instead of trying to wring new taxes out of the system, he proposes that Chinese retirees take out reverse mortgages on their homes.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on January 4, 2017.